There are a number of resources available to those affected by the recent rash of wildfires. Opportunities are also available for those who would like to volunteer.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock in the ongoing wildfires to contact the agency as soon as possible for assistance with the disposing of dead livestock.
KDHE’s Bureau of Waste Management can help farmers and ranchers determine the safest and most effective means of livestock disposal. The agency works with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to help with disposal, including selecting and permitting locations for those who wish to bury dead livestock on-site.
Farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock in the fires should contact Ken Powell, Compliance and Enforcement, Waste Reduction and Assistance Section Chief for the Bureau of Waste Management, at (785) 296-1121 or Ken.Powell@ks.gov.
The Kansas Farm Bureau
In an effort to help, Kansas Farm Bureau is offering to connect those who need help with those who can provide it.
The site: www.kfb.org/firerelief will connect those who are donating supplies like fencing and building materials and labor to those in need.
"We used this technology last year during the Anderson Creek Fire,” says Rich Felts, President of Kansas Farm Bureau. “It was utilized heavily during that fire event, so we’re bringing it back.”
Farm Bureau encourages those who want to donate and help in the rebuilding process use the www.kfb.org/firerelief site so resources can be implemented efficiently.
“We know the farming community is a tight-knit family and neighbors want to help neighbors,” Felts says. “We want to do what we can to connect help to those who need it.”
For those wanting to donate hay or money, Kansas Farm Bureau encourages people to contact the Kansas Livestock Association at 785-273-5115. Checks can be mailed to the Kansas Livestock Foundation at 6031 SW 37th St., Topeka, KS 66614. “Fire relief fund” should be written in the memo line.
Dillons and KAKE-TV
Dillons and KAKE-TV are asking you to join with us to help with wildfire disaster relief efforts. From March 8 through March 14 just ask your Dillons cashier to round your bill up to the nearest dollar or tell them if you’d like to make a larger donation.
Donations will go directly to the American Red Cross to help people affected by the Kansas Wildfires. The Red Cross is on the ground supporting families impacted and the first responders battling the blazes, providing warm meals and basic essentials. The Red Cross is also supplying breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and hydration to first responders, as well as beginning to guide people on the long road to recovery.
On Thursday, March 9 KAKE and representatives from Dillons and the American Red Cross will host a live call-in phone bank to accept donations for Kansas Wildfires relief efforts during KAKE News at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00. During those shows, viewers can call 316-946-1372 to help out.
Kansas Livestock Association
Proceeds from two auctions will help the Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) assist ranchers affected by recent wildfires across the state. A registered Angus heifer donated by Woodbury Farms will sell March 15 during their annual bull and female sale at Overbrook Livestock Commission Company. The heifer will sell as lot 55. For those who cannot attend the sale, but would like to place a bid, call Stephen Russell at (785) 458-2650. To view the sale catalog, go to www.woodburyfarmskansas.com. There will be an opportunity to add on additional dollars after the sale.
One 2017 breeding to AQHA stallion Bluestem Vaquero is being donated by Wright Quarter Horses of El Dorado. The auction started March 8 and will run through March 12. To bid or for more information, go to the Wright Quarter Horse Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/zxe63zk.
These and other contributions to KLF are tax deductible. To donate, go to www.kla.org/donationform.aspx or send checks to KLF, 6031 SW 37th Street, Topeka, KS 66614. Every dollar collected will be used to provide relief for ranchers in the affected area.
United Way of the Plains
United Way of the Plains is partnering with United Way of Reno County and United Way of Dodge City to respond to the wildfires in those areas. A disaster fund has been created for anyone wishing to make a monetary contribution to help with long-term recovery efforts. 100% of all donations will go to assist those affected by the fires.
Donations can be made three ways:
- Online: https://app.mobilecause.com/f/rvg/n
- By mail: Make checks payable to United Way of the Plains and include "Reno County Fire" or "Ford County Area Fires" in the memo. Mail to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202.
- Via text message: Text TEAMWORK to 41444. You will receive a link to complete your gift online.
Individuals wishing to donate items to help emergency personnel or victims should call 2-1-1 (United Way’s 24-hour information line). Callers can have their items added to a "virtual warehouse." The item(s) and donor(s) will be tracked, and items will be requested as needed.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management advises anyone wishing to contribute to ongoing disaster relief efforts to donate cash to disaster relief organizations rather than donating goods.
Officials recommend Kansans donating to reputable disaster relief organizations of their choice or local organizations within the affected communities.